Strathmore High School dominates provincial tournament

·2 min read

Strathmore High School’s senior basketball teams are both celebrating their success at the 3A ASAA Provincial Championship which took place March 15-18 in Wetaskawin.

The boys team, being the wildcard in their division, played their way into third place by the end of the weekend, earning their first provincial medal since 2005.

On the girls’ side, according to their head coach Dion Galandy, through their extremely hard work and dedication, they steamrolled their way into bringing home first place. This year marks the first time the team has medaled at provincials.

“It is almost surreal, the girls were so excited,” said Galandy. “We played our aggressive, in-your-face kind of defense that we normally do, and teams had a hard time adapting to it, so we just ended up playing our game that we have done all year.”

He added that the girls, in the last eight games of their season, including those played at zones and provincials, they averaged having only 35 points scored against them per game.

On the side of the boys, their coach, Matt Laslo, said despite not winning the tournament outright, the boys are extremely excited to bring home a podium finish.

“We beat St. Joe’s and then we ended up having to play against the No. 1 team in the province. (Strathcona Christian Academy) beat us by 11,” he said. “We had it, then we were down a bunch, then we came back, it was within seven points in the fourth quarter and we just couldn’t get a shot to fall.”

Laslo added based on the scores across the tournament, his boys were the only ones to make Strathcona sweat, being within 20 points of them.

In the bronze medal game, it was a rematch of last year’s third place battle between Strathmore and Camrose.

“We lost to them in double overtime last year,” said Laslo. “This time, we beat them to get some revenge.”

For both teams going into the off season, the goal is to work with players to develop individual skills through the Wheatland Wildfire program.

Galandy said the Wildfire will give kids a chance to continue playing through the spring and be more prepared to jump right back into the regular season next fall.

“I find there is a lot of skill development that happens in the spring when the games are not as regimented or stressful,” he said.

For the girls, Galandy said they will be aiming to defend their title next year, while for the boys, Laslo said they will be looking to step it up a notch and step higher up on the podium.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times